Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Fall Fashion 101

It’s not often people are still wearing shorts and t-shirts come October here in Syracuse. But this season’s unusually warm weather has kept many people from shopping for their winter wardrobes. Does that include you? Have no fear… here is your guide to fall fashion, to keep you looking hot all winter.

This winter, the guys need to keep one word in mind: tailored. For casual and professional looks, if your outfit is tailored, you’re already on your way to looking great. For work, try finding a medium-shade gray suit. Experts say gray is a great alternative to black suits this fall, and it looks great with white, light blue, or light pink shirts. Gray is especially flattering for men with lighter skin tones.

Looking for a way to lighten up your formal wear? Andy Samberg from Saturday Night Live tried out a new look for Men’s Health magazine… pairing a yellow vest with his navy suit. Experts say vests are making a comeback this season, so if you’re up for being a trendsetter, try it out! Samberg also had this fashion advice for men, “The new way to rock a suit is with sneakers. That’s how artists and cool people get away with dressing up and not looking lame.”

Going for a business-casual look? Ditch the jacket and try a blue and white striped dress shirt. Then play around with modern ties for a fun but still formal look. And guys, an important note about dress shirts: think about getting new white dress shirts every year. They should always be crisp and clean, so experts suggest replacing them often, since they show wear easily.

And for the weekend? Cotton sweaters and mock turtlenecks are a great casual look. But this season, it’s all about flare: try a patterned shirt or a different fabric like silk to add a touch of fall fabulous to your outfit. Also big for men this season is the ski look: puffy down vests and jackets, warm sweaters, and ski-themed graphic tees (for the younger men out there). The ski look is especially great in reds, whites, and blacks.

Not up for the themed outfits? Stick with your basic casual clothes, but go green! Green is a big color for men’s casual wear this season. The experts at Men.Style.com say tailored, patterned sweaters in shades of green are near-universally flattering. Also in this season: denim and layering basics. Experts say thin knits and t-shirts are classic, and they can be mixed-and-matched to create lots of unique looks.

Finally, accessories. That’s right, this season, accessories aren’t just for the ladies. Bold accessories are in… so look for standout items that will spice up any outfit. Examples: a large, patterned tie to add flare to a business suit; argyle socks to flash up your footwear; or, for a younger, more artsy look, try pairing red sneakers with a suit. One accessory warning: if you feel the need to wear a watch, make sure it doesn’t draw attention away from your outfit as a whole. Experts at GQ magazine say men’s watches should fit under the cuff of a dress shirt.

For women this season, anything goes. There have been a variety of looks appearing on runways and in fashion magazines, all of which could definitely catch on here in Syracuse.

This season, women’s fashions are more formal than usual, making it easy to transition from work to a night on the town. Neutral colors are great for a sophisticated work look, and just like in men’s fashion, this season gray is taking off. Elle magazine’s coverage of New York fashion week shows that shades of gray, neutral colors, and masculine pieces are among designers’ top styles. (Note: for a Vogue editor's overview of Fall's styles, check out this video!)

Even so, this season’s color palette for women’s clothing is surprisingly varied. While neutrals are favored for a more professional appearance, bright colors make outfits more playful. Celebrities like Eva Longoria and Jessica Alba have been spotted wearing eye-catching bright colors.
Black and white combinations are also a stylish way to go this season. Celebrities in New York, Los Angeles, and London have been spotted with black and white cap-toe pumps and black and white dresses. Actually, a safe style bet this season is pretty much any type of dress. For a subdued yet stylish work outfit, try a belted sweaterdress. For a more attention-grabbing look, try a minidress in a bright color like hot pink, silver, or turquoise. Minidresses with flowy fabrics or jeweled necklines are flirty but sophisticated enough to wear to holiday parties.

Not much of a dress person? Add accessories like a patent leather handbag, purple pumps, or a chunky metallic necklace to add a touch of style to a casual outfit. And an easy outfit fix this season is… a belt! High and low-end retailers are featuring an array of belts this season, bound to look great with any outfit, casual or formal.

Other easy accessories for women: colorful bangles and oversized jeweled cocktail rings. And, perfect for the cold Syracuse weather bound to hit soon, vintage hats are back this year, as is fur. So feel free to break out those cozy knit sweaters, throw on a belt and a vintage hat, and head out into the (eventual) snowy weather in style.

So where do I begin?
Suddenly I’m sensing cries of “Help me, oh fashion guru! How am I supposed to find these high-fashion looks here in Syracuse?” Not to worry. There are plenty of stores locally that stock this season’s best fashions—many at affordable prices. For men and women, check out Old Navy. They offer inexpensive sweaterdresses and work looks for women; while providing a wide selection of layered looks for men.

Other alternatives? Shop from home using fashion-forward websites. A great one for women is shopbop.com, which tracks the latest fashions and allows you to search by brand and style. Men and women will find the top styles at affordable prices at Express, and well-known designers (for a slightly higher price) at Bluefly.

And remember: while trends will come and go, it’s important to develop your own personal sense of style that will keep you looking and feeling great year after year. So try out some of this season’s new looks, but most importantly, have FUN with your fashion!

1 comment:

Brad Seal said...

You couldn't have found a person in this class who despises fashion articles more then me, but your article was very interesting. You keep things simple and don't start throwing out designer names all over the place which would run someone like me off.

Best of all, you center the fashion around the winter season in Syracuse this year. I actually know what to look for now if I go shopping.

Is Andy Samberg serious about wearing sneaker with your suit, or is he just being the funny guy? That could be dangerous if somone decides to be fashion forward and wears sneakers into work only to be destroyed by their boss.

What's a layering basic? Is that a short-sleeved shirt over a long-sleeved shirt? This is an honest question as I have no previous experience layering.

As for the women, my only question is do these styles work with all women? For instance, the sweaterdress: would it be smart for a girl with large hips to buy it? How do belts affect the way you look? Would a short girl want to avoid a belt etc?

Other than that, you keep the fashion advice pretty simple, you give me store names and weblinks to view this fashion, and you give me a reason to why I should care about it while living in Syracuse.

I have decided you shall be congratulated and not punished.

P.S.-- I'm excited that grey is in since I just bought a suit and I'm happy that it will match my lighter skin tone. Would have been a tremendous waste of money if grey was out or made me look like a corpse.